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William Fitzhugh Powell II (abt. 1577 - abt. 1622)

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Capt. William Fitzhugh Powell II aka Powel, Powle
Born about in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Virginiamap
Profile last modified 20 Dec 2019 | Created 9 May 2011 | Last significant change: 20 Dec 2019
21:29: Anonymous Johnston edited the Biography for William Fitzhugh Powell II (abt.1577-abt.1622). [Thank Anonymous for this]
This page has been accessed 6,155 times.


William FitzHugh Powell was born in St. Olaf Parish, Southwark in Surrey, England on March 16, 1577 to William FitzHugh Powell and Jane FitzJohn Jones (family connections unsourced.) He is believed to have married Elizabeth Wyllys (Wells) of Fennycompton in Warwickshire in 1594. He emigrated to the Americas, settling in Virginia, where he eventually became the commander of the fort at Jamestown.[1][1] He is believed to have died on January 24, 1623 in the "Chickhoninies Indian Massacre."

Captain Powell's honorifics included: "Gentleman, Knight of Surrey, Captain of the Governor's Guard, Commander of Jamestown."


  1. Section: Burgesses and Other Prominent Persons, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Vol. I, page 307 [database on-line].

Research Notes

Maybe a place to start (from an entry):

"Capt. William Powell is said to have first married Elizabeth Wells of St. Olave Parish. Some people claim that she came to Jamestown with William in 1609/10 and brought their children and that she died there in Jamestown. This is not true, as records indicate she died in 1626 in her home town of St. Olave Parish. Neither her name or the names of her children appear in the London Company Records, (another point later). William took a so called second wife in Jamestown named Margaret Stitt. I say so called, as in the Chancellery records there was a suite filed by a Thomas Powell against a William Powell for bigamy. There is no way to directly tie this to Capt. William Powell, but it fits."

If Capt. Wm Powell were a bigamist it would be well known ...because he was well known in Virginia and to the Va Company in London.His heirs are also documented as you will see below...

"When Capt. William Powell died in January 1623, (note I said died not killed), The London Company repossessed his estate on the grounds that he had no heirs. If he had been legally married to Margaret, she and/or their children would have inherited the estate. If his first wife, Elizabeth and their children had of come to Jamestown, the company would been aware that he had heirs in England as well as his fellow colonist."

His estate was not repossessed.


"A major error is that Capt. William Powell and Capt. Nathaniel Powell were brothers. They were kinsmen, not brothers, they were probably first or second cousins. This is in the London Company and the British Chancellery records. Nathaniel did have a brother named Thomas who lived in Howelton, Suffolk, England and did later inherited his estate after Nathaniel and his wife were killed by Indians March 22, 1622."

"The records state that Capt. Wm Powell had filed for letters of administration on the estate of Nathaniel Powell; then he died and his widow Margaret remarried Edward Blaney.Blaney, as the now administrator of his wife's estate/assets attempted to claim the estate on her behalf; in the meantime, the heirs of Nathaniel Powell wrote a letter of complaint to the Virginia Company stating that they were in no way related. Because the Virginia Company had such a high regard for Capt Nathaniel Powell, and because he was a Gentleman, they interceded on the behalf of his brothers and sisters (in England), and sent a letter to Virginia with explicit instructions on handling the estate properly, remarking it was especially important because they were poor."

And, from Wikipedia:

"A great Native American (Indian) massacre of at least 347 of the 1,258 Virginia colonists occurred on March 22, 1622. Captain Powell, who was described as the "gunner" of James City County, was one of a few who received early word of the planned massacre and was "instrumental in giving warning to the plantations nearest Jamestown."[12][13] Most sources state that the friendly Native American (Indian) who gave warning of the impending attacks told Richard Pace of the planned attack. Since Powell and Pace lived near each other and were business associates, it appears that Pace warned Powell and that both men proceeded to warn other people in the neighborhood of Jamestown, as stated in William Stith's 1740 history of the colony.[14] Immediately after the attack, Powell went to Martin's Hundred to help evacuate the survivors. He took possession of the estate of Nathaniel Powell, who was killed along with his wife during the attack. It was later determined Powell was not related to Nathaniel as he had claimed. Nathaniel's older brother, Thomas Powell, succeeded to ownership of the property.[1]

"Soon after beginning the Chickahominy River enterprise mentioned above, Captain William Powell was killed leading a party of militia against the Native Americans (Indians). The militia were seeking revenge for the March 22, 1622 massacre. Captain William Powell, as he is identified in the list of Burgesses,[8]may have died in late 1622 or possibly in January 1623. A letter of January 24, 1623 from colonist John Harrison to his brother, Richard Harrison, states that Captain Powell, and others, were dead."

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Comments: 11

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Powell, Gentleman, Knight of Surrey, Captain of the Governor's Guard, Commander of Jamestown-1 and Powell-979 appear to represent the same person because: These are obviously the same individual and should be merged. This is a historical figure and care should be given that the right information is brought into the new, merged profile.

I have left a detailed message regarding the profile with the honorifics, punctuation, and descriptors in the LNAB; it's possible that the LNAB of that profile should be changed to "Powell" before the merge but may not be absolutely necessary.


posted by Susan DeFoe
I've added a comment and research notes to both of the current wives - Margaret Whitney Powell and Elizabeth Wyllys (Wells) Powell. Further clarification need to confirm if these are the actual partners mentioned in the Doug Collins source cited on this profile ie Elizabeth Wells of St Olave Parish and Margaret Stitt.
posted by Gillian Thomas
Powell-4926 and Powell-979 appear to represent the same person because: dups with same name and dates but unproven conflicting parents that need sources to confirm any relationship
posted by N Gauthier
Hugh Powell-983 has been detached as father until it can be proven which set of parents were his.
posted by N Gauthier
Powell-5591 and Powell-4926 appear to represent the same person because: I found this while working on GEDMatch. I really think it is the same person.
posted by Jenny (Neumann) Ryburn
Powell-4926 Unmerged match

These two may represent the same man. Have been unable to find an appropriate source for either parents or wife of Capt. William Powell, early immigrant to Virginia and burgess for James City in 1619. Thanks!

posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
can we please change the death date to 1622 as Wikipedia states?
posted by Robin Coles
Powell-5591 and Powell-1266 do not represent the same person because: parents completely different
posted by Greg Hays
Capt. William Powell didn't have a son named Walter. Furthermore, Walter Powell was not born in Virginia, but further north. He also didn't come to Virginia until a group of colonists local to him migrated to Virginia. He was not William Powell's son.
posted by [Living Walker]
I could not find a source indicating he was married to Jand Starke. He did have two marriages. Let me know if you need help with this.


posted by Paula J
Powell-3169 and Powell-979 appear to represent the same person because: Hi, These profiles were marked as an unmerged match Jul 4, 2013. Is there a PM who has the time to merge them for us? Thanks.
posted by Mark Stuckenborg

William is 16 degrees from Katie Goodwin, 13 degrees from Wilbur Scoville and 7 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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